Local musicians committed to the cause

Arts & Entertainment

Local musicians committed to the cause

Durango has a rich music community, but can you make it playing here?
Anthony McCargar is the owner of Death Portal, a local heavy metal production label and DIY studio.
Durango band StillHouse Junkies, from left, Cody Tinnin, Fred Kosak and Alissa Wolf, are committed to the band’s success: They practice nightly and are in constant contact with each other.
Small metal scene’s big sound

Aetranok, Ekelhaft, Vile Aesthetic and Grey Moth are not ingredients for a voodoo revenge potion, they are the metal bands playing Saturday at the Balcony Backstage. The show is put on by local production company Death Portal, run by Anthony McCargar, who is also a musician in Vile Aesthetic and Aetranok.
So why have you never heard of the metal scene in Durango?
“It’s nonexistent,” McCargar said, which is why the flyers around town stick out like the guy in a white T-shirt at a Slayer concert.
“There are a lot of metalheads here. There are maybe 200 of us, but it ranges from radio metal all the way to my type of metal, which is not played on the radio,” McCargar said. He describes Vile Aesthetic’s sound as a traditional black metal, such as Mercyful Fate, mixed with the constant double bass and the repetitious snare of modern black metal. Aetranok is black death metal.
McCargar said this genre keeps him on his toes because it’s very mathematical.
“If you are going from late-’70s metal all the way to now, you might be able to classify 100 subgenres,” he said. “Then there are subgenres within each one, so it is kind of confusing.”
He said one of the reasons the local metal scene is so small is the “Durango lifestyle.”
“You’re consumed with work, barely surviving, ‘How do I support your band, too?’” he said. “But I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have a small scene because it keeps us close.”
After a successful open mic night at Balcony Bar and Grill last month, the metalheads were asked to return.
“(The owner said), ‘I’d like to keep it metal – heaaaavy metal,’” McCargar said.
But there is no reason to be intimidated by the aggressive grit and barbaric sounds that will be flooding out onto Main Avenue from the Balcony stage.
“‘Never judge a book by its cover’ is one of the best statements in the world for any metalhead,” McCargar said. “For the most part, you will find that we are a lot more kind and accepting of every person than any other genre – and that ranges all throughout the metal scene – even though we might put on a harsh attitude.”

If you go

What: Night of Black Metal with Aetranok, Ekelhaft, Vile Aesthetic and Greymoth.

When: 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Balcony Backstage, 600 Main Ave., Suite 210.

More information: Visit balconybarandgrill.com.

HHH

What: Sway Wild featuring Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer with StillHouse Junkies.

When: 9 p.m. Sept. 21.

Where: Sheridan Opera House, 110 N. Oak St., Telluride.

Tickets: $11 general admission, $21 reserved balcony seats.

More information: Visit sheridanoperahouse.com.

Local musicians committed to the cause

Anthony McCargar is the owner of Death Portal, a local heavy metal production label and DIY studio.
Durango band StillHouse Junkies, from left, Cody Tinnin, Fred Kosak and Alissa Wolf, are committed to the band’s success: They practice nightly and are in constant contact with each other.
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